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Everything You Need to Know about Christian Eckes

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Christian Eckes is in the midst of his best Craftsman Truck Series season to date. Would you believe he is still only 22 years old? Eckes has gone through quite the journey and run for some big names in his time driving race cars.

Christian Eckes is in the midst of his best Craftsman Truck Series season to date. Would you believe he is still only 22 years old? Eckes has gone through quite the journey and run for some big names in his time driving race cars.

Early Life

Christian Eckes was born on November 10, 2000 in Middletown, New York. Whereas many drivers would begin racing at an early age, Eckes did not start until 2010, when he was almost 10 years old according to thorsport.com.

At that age, Eckes began to race in Bandoleros and legends cars, but he would move up to late models shortly thereafter. In 2015, he would join JR Motorsports in the late model ranks, and Eckes began running more professional races.

He would run four CARS Tour races in the 2015 season, at the age of 14. First, two races in the late model stocks, and later two more in the pro late models. Eckes would get one top ten in each division, but his breakthrough came the next year.

In 2016, he ran the full CARS Tour late model stock schedule. While he failed to find victory lane, he would record seven top-10 finishes including two top-5s. That December, he got his first major late model win.

In 2016, Eckes entered in his second snowball derby, a race that featured a stacked entry list with guys like Christopher Bell, William Byron, Corey LaJoie, Harrison Burton, Daniel Hemric, Noah Gragson, Grant Enfinger, Chandler Smith, Ty Majeski, and John Hunter Nemechek. Eckes and Nemechek would battle in the late stages, and Eckes would win thanks to a last lap pass. That win put Eckes on the map for good.

K&N and ARCA

While Eckes was making a name for himself in late models in 2016, he began dabbling in the ARCA Menards Series and the K&N Pro Series. He would run seven races between the two series, taking home seven top-10 finishes. In 2017, he expanded his ARCA schedule to 10 races for one of the series top team owners, Bill Venturini.

Since he was still under 18, Eckes could not race on superspeedways yet, but he impressed in a short track schedule. He would finish in the top-10 in each of his first nine races, before a broken radiator ended his final race early.

Still, it was enough to give him more seat time in 2018 with a 13 race schedule. In his second race of the season at Salem, Eckes finally got his first win. He would pull away from Zane Smith after taking the lead under the final caution flag.

Two more wins followed at Springfield and Indianapolis Raceway Park, and Eckes moved up to full-time competition in 2019. The season started off rocky after a tear in his trachea left Eckes hospitalized and missing the third race of the season at Salem. The following week, a crash at Talladega left Eckes with a 26th place finish.

From there, Eckes was unstoppable. He finished worse than seventh only once and worse than third only five times over the final 16 races. The result, the 2019 ARCA Menards Series Championship.

While all of this was happening, Eckes was eyeing his move up the ladder. The Craftsman Truck Series was calling, and he was impressing there.

Working his Way Through the Truck Series

While running ARCA in 2018 and 2019, Eckes was running part-time in the Craftsman Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Eckes had three top-10s in four starts in 2018, and he had three poles in eight entries in 2019. He had two third place finishes, and it was enough to give him a shot at a full-time ride.

In 2020, Eckes had an up-and-down season. He made the Playoffs, and he had three second place finishes in four races in the middle of the season. However, he could not find victory lane, and he was eliminated after the first round of the Playoffs.

In 2021, Eckes could only find part-time work for ThorSport, sharing the 98 Mike Curb truck with Grant Enfinger. The season was tough, but at Las Vegas, things finally came together for Eckes. He took the lead from Todd Gilliland on the final restart to take home his first career Truck Series win.

Eckes was back to full-time in 2022 for ThorSport, making the Round of Eight in the Playoffs. In 2023, he signed with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing to drive the 19 truck, and now he is enjoying his best season so far. Eckes has won two races this season and sits in sixth in the points.

Conclusion

Christian Eckes is a classic example of a driver who just did not give up. It took him time, but he finally found a way up through the Truck Series. Now in the midst of his best season, what does the future hold for Eckes?

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